by Mike McNamee Published 01/04/2005
The D2x is a fully-fledged pro digital camera, which contains all of the features required by the demanding photographer. The camera features fast, accurate focusing, excellent exposure accuracy and an auto white balance, which is second-to-none. Also impressive is its rugged feel and superb build quality. Like all Nikon SLR products it has backwards compatibility with any legacy glass you may be particularly fond of (with some limitations).
This latest addition to the Nikon range was put through its paces by leading wedding photographer, Aled Oldfield ASWPP, in a real shoot situation and performed beyond expectations. Like any serious-minded professional, he was unwilling to commit his reputation to a real wedding with an untried camera so he shadowed a colleague first time around. However he was sufficiently impressed to use it for real the minute the opportunity arose, indeed the next week!. Faced with the usual British dull overcast weather the camera produced images capturing a full tonal range which is essential for the social photographer.
The D2x is Nikon's, if not the world's, flagship digital SLR of 2005. It has 12.4Mp CMOS 12 chip, shoots at up to 5fps and can run at an incredible 8 frames per second at 6 mega pixels, making it a great choice for just about anything that you could put before it. Its enormous 2.5" LCD screen and a fantastic long life, carefree battery system are a real plus. Perhaps the only reason not to get one is if you need very light weight; the D2x is a solid, professional camera built to take and dish out a beating and has a price to match.
Getting going was simplicity itself, all we had to do was charge up the batteries, insert the flash card and off we went. Compared to the Nikon D100, which has been Aled's primary digital SLR for the past three years the D2x had a familiar, reliable feel. The advanced design and layout enabled him to easily locate the function buttons, and so he believes that anyone not experienced in the use of a Nikon camera would soon get to grips with this model.
Capturing children needs a fast auto focus. Excellent skin tones are also produced by the D2x.
The bright crisp viewfinder was also a real plus, especially during the church service when viewing edge-to-edge composition would have otherwise been difficult, also the superior autofocus coped exceptionally well in low light conditions instantly snapping into focus.
White balance gets much more flexible with this model, a very welcome improvement that will be a huge help in getting great images - a plus for photographers who need to keep the bride's dress a consistent colour.
There is no built-in flash; so you'll have to buy either an SB-600 or SB-800 though Aled's older SB-80DX also worked well, if only in aperture priority mode.
The built-in metering system incorporates a 1,005-segment meter and is as accurate as you would ever hope for, giving great consistency from image to image throughout the whole wedding and reception.
A new image processing algorithm produces high-quality images using improvements in the precision of the analogue processing portion of A/D conversion from the image sensor. After digital conversion, a new processing method has been added to increase image-processing precision in the ASIC for smoother display of tones from highlight to shadow portions of the image.
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